A star-studded lineup of runners raced the 2023 Vancouver Sun Run on Sunday, producing a pair of exciting 10K races won by john gay and Leslie Sexton. Gay won the men’s race in a tight battle with 2019 Sun Run champion justin kent, crossing the line at 29:40. Sexton successfully defended her title from 2022, winning in 32:22. The race was a massive success, as more than 30,000 runners took to the wet and rainy streets of Vancouver to test their limits.
Two in a Row for Sexton
Sexton won the 2022 Vancouver Sun Run in 32:27, and this year she not only repeated as champion, but also improved on her previous winning time by 15 seconds. As she told the vancouver sun after the race, “I tend to run well in the rain. I saw the forecast and I knew this was a strength for me and I’m just going to roll with it.”
Sexton ran near identical splits over the two halves of the race, running the first 5 km in 16:12 and the second in 16:10. This even pacing and negative split helped her catch Olympic marathoner Malindi Elmore, who got out to a hot start, passing through the 5 km checkpoint in 16:04. Over the closing 5km, Sexton did n’t panic or force things as she attempted to draw Elmore back in, instead sticking to a regular pace and trusting in her fitness.
“Last year, I went out too fast,” Sexton told the sun. “The course really chewed me up over the second half [in 2022] and, this year, I just let the top three go and they gapped me a bit. I just worked my way past people as it went on.” By 7 km, Sexton had caught Elmore, and she made her passing move on a slight uphill around a kilometre later.
Sexton continued to pull away in the final couple of kilometers, ultimately crossing the line in 32:22, 13 seconds in front of Elmore. Cleo Boyd rounded out the podium with a final time of 32:55.
A close men’s race
Like Sexton’s win, Gay’s did not come easily. He found himself in a group of more than 10 men in the opening 5 km, which they ran at 15:06. That group included Kent, Gay’s fellow Olympians Trevor Hofbauer, Ben Preisner and Luc Bruchetand several more elite men, all of whom were threats for the win.
The second half of the race flew by much quicker than the first, as the eventual top finishers dropped the hammer and charged forward for massive negative splits. In the final kilometers of the run, the race was still anyone’s to win, but it was Gay who found an extra gear in the final few hundred meters and managed to pull away from his competitors.
Gay took the win in 29:40, three seconds ahead of Kent and five ahead of thomas broatch, who finished in third. Hofbauer and Preisner finished in fourth and fifth, respectively, both just a couple of seconds off the podium.
For full results from the Vancouver Sun Run, click here.